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Securing beyond the facility

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  • Securing beyond the facility

    In my weekly, column ( ), I raised the question of how you can mitigate violent attacks outside facilities like courthouses, where, due to visits of citizens, transfers of prisoners, access for employees, security cannot stop. I'm specifically thinking of the recent shootings in front of courthouses in Lumpkin County, Ga., and Kingston, Tenn.

    If you're working to secure these types of areas outside otherwise high-security facilites, how are you doing it?
    If you've secured a similar area at any kind of facility, what tips would you give? Even if this is only academic thought to you, throw it out there. Let's start some discussion on this.

    {Bill W -- what would the U.S. Marshalls have to say?}

    Last edited by SIW Editor; 08-19-2005, 12:55 PM.

  • #2
    Security Beyond the Facility

    I can't speak for the US Marshals Service; however, prisoner movement is a well rehearsed series of procedures. What I write will, for obvious reasons, be somewhat vague.
    Suffice it to say, no person in their right mind would try to take a prisoner from a Deputy US Marshal. The two armed people who tried to take a prisoner from Marshals on a hospital run in central Virginia were both shot and killed for their efforts. Screwing around with a Deputy US Marshal is as dumb as screwing around with a Marine Gunny.
    With very rare exceptions, prisoners are placed in a movement vehicle within the confines of the building. Every deputy and every court security officer, if used, are well trained and well armed. Closed circuit television provides information necessary for safe removal from the sally port. There is in all instances sufficient manpower.
    All employees entering a courthouse have necessary identification.
    Visitors, all visitors, are subjected to search of their person and possessions. Regulations are strict as to contraband or otherwise prohibited items.
    Training and sufficient manpower are the key.
    Additionally, all Deputy Marshals are required to maintain a very high state of physical fitness, which a times makes military basic training look tame by comparison.
    Court security officers are most generally retired LEO's, law enforcement officers, local, county, state or former members of military law enforcement or security who are graduates of service schools. At the time I was in the Court Security Division, the minimum requirement was three years LEO experience and a graduate of a recognized law enforcement training academy or appropriate military component. Prison guard or contract guard experience were not qualifying factors.
    The Service never did anything in an "ad hoc" fashion.
    If there is a disturbance in the immediate vacinity of a courthouse, it will be dealt with swiftly. We have all seen it on nightly news, scuffles are immediately dealt with.
    Many county courts depend on the county sheriffs who do not have the manpower or extensive training. In many instances, if blame must be assigned, look to the taxpayers, who themselves are financially strapped.
    Hope I've helped.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill Warnock


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bill Warnock
      Suffice it to say, no person in their right mind would try to take a prisoner from a Deputy US Marshal.
      That's the problem Bill. They are 'out-of-their-minds.'
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


      • #4
        Mr. Security, that's the neat part, no one has successfully taken a prisoner for the US Marshals. Those who tried, died.
        As I've written before, Deputy US Marshal training makes Marine boot camp look like grade school PT. Plus the fact in service training continues throughout their careers.
        Enjoy the day,


        • #5
          Agreed. Thanks
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)